Central High is headed back to Clovis’ Lamonica Stadium for another Central Section 1-2 Thursday night football showdown.
This time, The Bee’s top-ranked Grizzlies are there to take on No. 2 Clovis West, which will be without yet another key player. Game time is 7 p.m.
Just three weeks ago to open Tri-River Athletic Conference play, Central affirmed its spot atop the section Coaches’ Top 10 poll with a 28-27 win over then-No. 2 Buchanan.
Clovis West beat Buchanan 36-17 the following week to ascend to No. 2.
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Both teams are 3-0 in the TRAC and 7-1 overall. Central’s loss was 49-30 to national power De La Salle-Concord. Clovis West lost its season-opener 31-30 at Liberty-Bakersfield.
The Golden Eagles certainly aren’t playing comparative scores, at least publicly. Clovis West coach George Petrissans said, “We have a huge challenge ahead of us” and he wants his team to “focus on us.”
“Central is really a great team,” Petrissans said. “We respect the heck out of them. They have some great players.”
Petrissans pointed out Central quarterback Trent Tompkins, running back Jevon Bigelow and wide receiver Jacob Torrez.
Clovis West will be without inside linebacker DJ Schramm, who suffered a torn labrum against Edison on Sept. 8. Schramm, who has verbally committed to Boise State, played through the injury until Oct. 13 against Buchanan.
“He’s going to be sorely missed,” Petrissans said.
The Golden Eagles had to go the season without star quarterback and Tennessee commit Adrian Martinez who is recovering from offseason surgery for a torn labrum.
Filling in for Martinez is junior Dante Chachere who has shined for Clovis West. Chachere has completed 166 of 272 for 2,060 yards and 16 touchdowns against four interceptions. He ranks fifth-best in the section right behind Tompkins, who has 2,123 passing yards. (Tulare Union’s Nathan Lamb is the leader with 2,386.)
Chachere said he is looking forward to the challenge against the Grizzlies because of “their athletic ability.”
As far as their focus leading into the game against the Grizzlies?
“Just execution,” Chachere said. “How we’re going to react in certain situations that are going to come because I know there will be situations where we might be down or might be close, but it’s how we react.”
Games to watch
No. 6 Memorial vs. No. 10 Bullard, Friday at McLane – Another big test for Bullard (4-4, 3-0), which has outscored County/Metro Athletic Conference opponents 123-31.
Junior running back Marcus Fulcher has carried more than his share of that load in the CMAC with 69 carries for 499 yards and nine touchdowns.
A win by the Knights would clinched a tie for the CMAC title with the conference finale against Edison next week.
The Panthers (7-1, 2-1) want nothing more than to hand Bullard its first loss in the conference to create a likely four-way tie for first place.
Memorial junior quarterback Alec Trujillo completed 14 of 21 for a career-high 348 yards and had four touchdowns in a 54-19 victory over Madera. Panthers wide receiver Jalen McMillan had six receptions for 210 yards.
Liberty-Madera Ranchos at Kerman – The winner will clinch at least a share of the North Sequoia League title. Both teams are 7-1 overall and 2-0 in the NSL with one game remaining after Friday.
The Roth brothers give Liberty a formidable 1-2 punch. In last week’s 41-10 victory over Washington, senior Kaleb Roth had 12 carries for a career-high 222 yards and two touchdowns, while Wyatt, a junior, had 138 yards and two touchdowns.
Kerman is led by senior quarterback Sean Chambers who on the season has completed 47 of 194 for 972 yards and seven touchdowns against four interceptions.
The Wyoming commit has been a force on the ground, too, rushing 87 times for 1,008 yards and 11 touchdowns.
El Diamante at Lemoore – The visiting Miners (5-3, 4-0) can clinch to at least a tie for the West Yosemite League title.
El Diamante (5-3, 4-0) will visit the Tigers who are 4-4 and 3-1. A win by Lemoore (4-4, 3-1) would create at least a two-way tie atop the WYL – three-way if Golden West (7-1, 3-1) beats Mt. Whitney.
El Diamante senior running back Devontae Freeman had 23 carries for 132 yards and a touchdown in a 17-7 victory over Redwood.
Lemoore had a bye week. The Tigers are led by junior running back Damion Charleston who has 116 carries for 848 yards and six touchdowns. Lemoore has 18 rushing touchdowns.
Deaf team, deaf official
California School for the Deaf in Fremont visits Fresno Christian on Friday night for a nonleague game – and an official on the field is deaf, too.
Alexander Sanborn is part of the crew assigned to the game, said Randy Wright, president and football supervisor of the San Joaquin Valley Officials Association. Wright said Sanborn has been officiating for two years.
Mt. Whitney QB doing damage
Mt. Whitney junior Jaedyn Pineda is doing plenty since taking over at quarterback at halftime on Sept. 22 against El Diamante.
Last week, Pineda completed 23 of 38 for 368 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 78 yards and one touchdown in a 29-26 victory over Hanford.
Pineda is listed at 5 feet 8 inches and 150 pounds and also is a punter and plays linebacker. He leads the WYL in passing and is No. 14 in the section in passing yards in only 3 1/2 games, according to Mt. Whitney statistician Chuck Knox.
On defense, he has 37 tackles, 2.5 sacks, recovered two fumbles and had one touchdown – stripping the ball from Tulare Union standout Kazmeir Allen on the play.
Cowhide presale tickets
Pre-sale tickets for the 63rd Cowhide game between Mt. Whitney and Redwood go on sale Monday, Oct. 30 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at both schools.
Ticket prices are $6 (adults) and $4 (students and seniors).
The game is set for Nov. 3 at Mineral King Bowl with kickoff at 6:30 p.m.
Central senior kicker Kyler Collins set two school records last week by kicking four field goals, according to section historian Bob Barnett.
The field goals went for 47, 32, 26 and 29 yards, and he made 5 of 6 extra points for 17 kicking points – third-best in section history.
Other notes from Barnett:
▪ Bakersfield Christian senior quarterback Braden Wingle matched his career-high six touchdowns in a 55-0 win over Arvin.
▪ Selma senior quarterback Jr. Ramirez rushed for a season-high 245 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns in a 31-14 win over Immanuel.
▪ Tulare Union senior running back Kazmeir Allen rushed for 297 yards and six touchdowns. He has 43 touchdowns for the season, 92 for his career for fifth-best in section history.
▪ Central Valley Christian running back Jaalen Renning rushed for a career-high 220 yards and had two touchdowns in a 43-7 win over Exeter.
The Bee’s Coaches’ Top 10 poll
First-place votes in parentheses
1. Central (10)
2. Clovis West
5. Tulare Western
Thursday, Oct. 26
TRI-RIVER ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
Central at Clovis West, 7 p.m.
Tulare Western vs. Monache (Granite Hills), 7:15 p.m.
McLane vs. Roosevelt (Sunnyside)
Friday, Oct. 27
Buchanan vs. Clovis East (Lamonica), 7 p.m.
Clovis North vs. Clovis (Veterans), 7 p.m.
Memorial vs. Bullard (McLane)
Sanger at Madera
Fresno at Reedley
Hoover at Sunnyside
Madera South vs. Edison (Ratcliffe)
El Diamante at Lemoore
Mt. Whitney vs. Golden West (Mineral King Bowl)
Redwood at Hanford West
Delano at Porterville, 7 p.m.
Mission Oak at Tulare, 7 p.m.
Liberty-Madera Ranchos at Kerman, 7 p.m.
Sierra at Chowchilla, 7 p.m.
Minarets at Parlier
Riverdale at Fowler
Central Valley Christian at Dinuba, 7 p.m.
Immanuel at Kingsburg, 7 p.m.
Exeter at Selma
Granite Hills at Strathmore, 7:15 p.m.
Lindsay at Corcoran, 7 p.m.
Sierra Pacific at Woodlake, 7:15 p.m.
Dos Palos at Tranquillity, 7 p.m.
Firebaugh at Avenal
Mendota at Coalinga
Farmersville at Orange Cove
Independence at East Bakersfield
Ridgeview at Tehachapi
West at Golden Valley
Garces at Frontier
Stockdale at Bakersfield
Liberty-Bakersfield at Centennial
Foothill at South
Mira Monte at Highland
Kennedy at Taft, 7 p.m.
Arvin at Wasco
Shafter at Chavez
Bishop at California City, 7 p.m.
Rosamond at Kern Valley, 7 p.m.
CENTRAL SIERRA (8-MAN)
Riverdale Christian at Frazier Mountain, 7 p.m.
Trona at Maricopa, 5:30 p.m.
Amador-Sutter Creek at Yosemite, 7 p.m.
California School for the Deaf-Fremont at Fresno Christian, 7 p.m.
Mission Prep-San Luis Obispo at Laton, 7 p.m.
North at McFarland
Orosi at Caruthers
Saturday, Oct. 28
CENTRAL SIERRA (8-MAN)
Kings Christian at Alpaugh, 1 p.m.
Desert at Desert Christian, 6 p.m.